Photo Credit: Australian Associated PressAs a hard working U.S. citizen, I look at the minimum wage in Australia (currently set at $15.96) with intrigue and a bit of envy. Gina Rinehart, the richest woman in the world, sees it as an obstacle in adding even more money to her already $18 billion bankroll.
It appears Rinehart is having difficulty relating to those who live off of minimum wage, as she inherited her family’s $30.1 billion iron ore mining fortune, but she’s not exactly shy about it—and if you’ve ever wanted to hear some advice from a business woman on how to be successful, she has some:
“If you're jealous of those with more money don't just sit there and complain, do something to make more money yourself. Spend less time drinking, smoking and socializing and more time working," says the heiress. I didn’t say it was the most inspiring piece of advice ever told.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Rinehart isn’t done making suggestions, this time aiming them at her country’s lawmakers, urging them to reduce the minimum wage and cut taxes. She explained to the Sydney Mining Club that Australia’s mining industry simply cannot go up against countries that pay their employees less than $2 a day.
"The evidence is inarguable that Australia is becoming too expensive and too uncompetitive to do export-oriented business. Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country's future." Or perhaps she’s actually worried about having to shell out more for her own staff’s medical benefits and salaries.
Unfortunately for Rinehart, Prime Minister Julia Gillard isn’t going for her proposed changes. "It's not the Australian way to toss people $2, to toss them a gold coin, and then ask them to work for a day. We support proper Australian wages and decent working conditions."
And if you were wondering if anyone can be a millionaire these days, Rinehart can make you feel better about that. "There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire.” (Phew!) “Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others." But with that comes the annoyance of having to pay them minimum wage! Ugh life isn’t fair.